Civic agencies to discuss issue next week

taking detour: Students crossing road at Tagore Circle where underpass work is undertaken, on Friday. dh photoExcerpts from the interview:

The public ask whether there was ever a need for an underpass at Tagore Circle...
There is a lot of traffic movement from four directions including, Gandhi Bazaar, Kanakpura Road and K R Road. One solution which could have been experimented by the civic agencies was to install a traffic signal at the Rabindranath Tagore Circle.
They went for an underpass directly without a trial run of the signalled junction.
With the Metro work on one side and this on the other, was it right on the part of BBMP to take up the work?

We cannot make any instinctive decision. We will examine the facts and figures with regard to the project before reaching any decision. A detailed discussion will be held on the project in the coming week at the civic agencies’ meeting.   

The work was commissioned three years ago. During this period, was there any discussion with the Traffic Police and other Civic agencies by the BBMP with regard to the project?

We are yet to ascertain whether there was an inter-agency discussion in the city with regard to the project. The meeting scheduled for the coming week will also deal with this aspect of the project.

People in the area have been complaining that they were never consulted before the construction of the underpass. Would you be holding any such consultation now?
If the local citizens were never consulted before the underpass construction then it is wrong. We also need locals to become more pro-active prior to the commencement of the developmental project in their area. We need more of a neighbourhood impact.
I will be mooting a proposal to the BBMP commissioner in this regard and involve the people in a public meeting.

At least 16 trees will have to be chopped for the construction of the underpass. Could steps have been taken to prevent damage to environment?

Any developmental project will see trees being felled. Every mega city needs to reconcile and move forward with this aspect.

What we need to ensure is that more trees are planted in the same place or compensate it by planting them elsewhere in the city. Besides, we need to maintain the park near Tagore Circle in a good condition.

What are the other provisions you felt were important and needed to be incorporated in the project?

The most important thing that needs to be incorporated is pedestrian subway.
Another important thing, is the provision of proper bus bays in the area. Public transport commuters also need a seamless movement.

What they say...

Basavangudi is one of the best planned localities with very wide roads, lung space and market area. The vision of almost 100 years is reflected in it. The roads can take a heavy traffic unlike many recent extensions. The flyover near National college was totally unnecessary and the same will be the fate with Tagore circle undepass. Only during the peak hours traffic appears to be heavy but it can be managed by traffic police.

The basic difficulty is with the link to the eastern part of the city which is now through the narrow B P Wadia Road, which is running all the way to Srinagar and links places beyond. An alternate route can be forced (by making it one way) round Krishna Rao Park and to RV Road and that would make it less congested. An underpass is totally uncalled for.
We have already lost the green canopy  to the Metro; spare it here at least.

B S Shylaja, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium

While there is some traffic in the morning and evenings at the Tagore Circle, it can be resolved by placing traffic lights. There are already traffic lights on the same KR Road, a few 100 meters ahead (in southern direction)  at Netakalappa Circle and 500 m ahead on South End Road. Even if one constructs an underpass, the vehicles will have to put up with these lights. Our planners should get rid of their obsession with  obstructionless  traffic. The public have to realise that Bangalore is a big city now and certain delays are a part of life. Lack of patience is symptomatic of a small town mentality.

P R Vishwanath, Kalappa Block, Basavanagudi

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